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      TopoToolbox: Using Sensor Topography to Calculate Psychologically Meaningful Measures from Event-Related EEG/MEG

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          The open-source toolbox “TopoToolbox” is a suite of functions that use sensor topography to calculate psychologically meaningful measures (similarity, magnitude, and timing) from multisensor event-related EEG and MEG data. Using a GUI and data visualization, TopoToolbox can be used to calculate and test the topographic similarity between different conditions (Tian and Huber, 2008). This topographic similarity indicates whether different conditions involve a different distribution of underlying neural sources. Furthermore, this similarity calculation can be applied at different time points to discover when a response pattern emerges (Tian and Poeppel, 2010). Because the topographic patterns are obtained separately for each individual, these patterns are used to produce reliable measures of response magnitude that can be compared across individuals using conventional statistics (Davelaar et al. Submitted and Huber et al., 2008). TopoToolbox can be freely downloaded. It runs under MATLAB (The MathWorks, Inc.) and supports user-defined data structure as well as standard EEG/MEG data import using EEGLAB (Delorme and Makeig, 2004).

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          Removing electroencephalographic artifacts by blind source separation.

          Eye movements, eye blinks, cardiac signals, muscle noise, and line noise present serious problems for electroencephalographic (EEG) interpretation and analysis when rejecting contaminated EEG segments results in an unacceptable data loss. Many methods have been proposed to remove artifacts from EEG recordings, especially those arising from eye movements and blinks. Often regression in the time or frequency domain is performed on parallel EEG and electrooculographic (EOG) recordings to derive parameters characterizing the appearance and spread of EOG artifacts in the EEG channels. Because EEG and ocular activity mix bidirectionally, regressing out eye artifacts inevitably involves subtracting relevant EEG signals from each record as well. Regression methods become even more problematic when a good regressing channel is not available for each artifact source, as in the case of muscle artifacts. Use of principal component analysis (PCA) has been proposed to remove eye artifacts from multichannel EEG. However, PCA cannot completely separate eye artifacts from brain signals, especially when they have comparable amplitudes. Here, we propose a new and generally applicable method for removing a wide variety of artifacts from EEG records based on blind source separation by independent component analysis (ICA). Our results on EEG data collected from normal and autistic subjects show that ICA can effectively detect, separate, and remove contamination from a wide variety of artifactual sources in EEG records with results comparing favorably with those obtained using regression and PCA methods. ICA can also be used to analyze blink-related brain activity.
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            Information-based functional brain mapping.

            The development of high-resolution neuroimaging and multielectrode electrophysiological recording provides neuroscientists with huge amounts of multivariate data. The complexity of the data creates a need for statistical summary, but the local averaging standardly applied to this end may obscure the effects of greatest neuroscientific interest. In neuroimaging, for example, brain mapping analysis has focused on the discovery of activation, i.e., of extended brain regions whose average activity changes across experimental conditions. Here we propose to ask a more general question of the data: Where in the brain does the activity pattern contain information about the experimental condition? To address this question, we propose scanning the imaged volume with a "searchlight," whose contents are analyzed multivariately at each location in the brain.
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              Low resolution electromagnetic tomography: a new method for localizing electrical activity in the brain.

              This paper presents a new method for localizing the electric activity in the brain based on multichannel surface EEG recordings. In contrast to the models presented up to now the new method does not assume a limited number of dipolar point sources nor a distribution on a given known surface, but directly computes a current distribution throughout the full brain volume. In order to find a unique solution for the 3-dimensional distribution among the infinite set of different possible solutions, the method assumes that neighboring neurons are simultaneously and synchronously activated. The basic assumption rests on evidence from single cell recordings in the brain that demonstrates strong synchronization of adjacent neurons. In view of this physiological consideration the computational task is to select the smoothest of all possible 3-dimensional current distributions, a task that is a common procedure in generalized signal processing. The result is a true 3-dimensional tomography with the characteristic that localization is preserved with a certain amount of dispersion, i.e., it has a relatively low spatial resolution. The new method, which we call Low Resolution Electromagnetic Tomography (LORETA) is illustrated with two different sets of evoked potential data, the first showing the tomography of the P100 component to checkerboard stimulation of the left, right, upper and lower hemiretina, and the second showing the results for the auditory N100 component and the two cognitive components CNV and P300. A direct comparison of the tomography results with those obtained from fitting one and two dipoles illustrates that the new method provides physiologically meaningful results while dipolar solutions fail in many situations. In the case of the cognitive components, the method offers new hypotheses on the location of higher cognitive functions in the brain.

                Author and article information

                Comput Intell Neurosci
                Computational Intelligence and Neuroscience
                Hindawi Publishing Corporation
                18 April 2011
                : 2011
                1Department of Psychology, New York University, 6 Washington Place Suite 275, New York, NY 10003, USA
                2Department of Psychology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA
                Author notes

                Academic Editor: Sylvain Baillet

                Copyright © 2011 Xing Tian et al.

                This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Research Article



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